August 27, 2007
ECE students Jonathan Lee and Jesse Vizcaino are the first recipients of the ECE Spirit Award, presented to a graduating senior and/or Integrated Master's/Bachelor's student, in recognition of their exceptional community building efforts in the ECE Department.
The ECE Spirit Award reflects a history of outstanding volunteer service and leadership in ECE student organizations. It is given in appreciation for innovative ideas aimed at improving the student experience and promoting overall excellence in the ECE Department.
This award was introduced and presented at the 2007 ECE senior banquet held at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall by Susan Farrington, ECE Director of Alumni and Student Relations. The Spirit Award will not be a guaranteed annual award but, instead, will be presented when a student or students demonstrate an extraordinary level of commitment to the ECE community and are not otherwise recognized for their contributions.
Jonathan Lee was honored for the unusual leadership role he played on the ECE Student Advisory Council (ECE SAC) and for numerous ideas that have benefited students and the ECE community. He was a proponent of a "flat" SAC organization (i.e., without officers) so that all students would feel comfortable bringing their ideas and issues to the SAC forum. Through this forum, Jonathan made recommendations for an ECE community day, a senior banquet, and a senior chat with the Department Head, all of which have become successful annual features on the ECE calendar of events.
While maintaining his eligibility as an Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society (HKN) member, Jonathan volunteered many hours to help implement his recommendations and support other student organization activities as well as ongoing department and college initiatives. Jonathan earned his B.S. in 2006 and his M.S. last May through the Integrated Master's/Bachelor's (IMB) program. He spent his summer doing mission work in Asia and South America and has recently started working as a digital design engineer for Marvell Semiconductor in Santa Clara, CA.
Jesse Vizcaino was recognized for his constant dedication to student quality of life and high standards within ECE. As vice president and then president of the student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Jesse organized many social and professional activities for ECE students, from barbecues, ice cream socials, and cartoon breaks to corporate technical talks.
As an active member of ECE SAC, Jesse initiated relevant discussions on ethics that resulted in a town hall focused on ethics and a step toward the creation of a student honor code. He also volunteered many extra hours to support student activities at the department and college level. Jesse completed the IMB program, too; he graduated with his B.S. in 2006 and his M.S. last May and is now a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C.
Jonathan and Jesse received plaques containing the famous Andrew Carnegie statement, "My heart is in the work." A continuous plaque will be placed in the ECE undergraduate lounge in Hamerschlag Hall.
Susan Farrington (left), ECE Director of Alumni and Student Relations, presents the ECE Spirit Award to ECE student Jesse Vizcaino at the ECE senior banquet.
ECE student Jonathan Lee (center), one of the first recipients of the ECE Spirit Award, takes a microphone during the ECE Day celebration. He is joined by classmates Doug Robl (left) and Sarah Hsieh (right).